Round Lake 116 staffers recognized for helping student with breast cancer
When the Round Lake Area Unit School District 116 community found out high school junior Mayra Davila was battling stage 3 breast cancer in the fall, it rallied around her and raised $20,000 for her treatment.
Now five district teachers and support staff members are being honored for helping organize that large fundraising effort.
Kristin Lilla, Micah Evans, Alison Schusteff, Sara Solheim and Rebecca Hoffman are nominated for the top prize at the Exchange Club of Round Lake Area's Above & Beyond Awards ceremony Thursday.
"If it were not for these ladies spearheading the movement, we wouldn't have had that real widespread community involvement," Round Lake High Principal Mike Berrie said.
"I can't thank them enough. They really fit the definition of going above and beyond."
Lilla, an English teacher and volleyball and track coach, said they were honored to be recognized. The women were the core of Mayra's school support team. Lilla said Evans is Mayra's at-home tutor, Schusteff is Mayra's guidance counselor, Solheim was in charge of getting Mayra a wig, and Lilla and Hoffman were the fundraising people.
The women organized events throughout the district, including a charity volleyball tournament, which netted $2,500, and a public head shaving of three teachers and the assistant principal of John T. Magee Middle School, which raised more than $300.
Mayra was diagnosed with cancer near the start of this school year and has been out of school.
Lilla said Mayra is positive and cranking out her homework despite undergoing treatment.
She said Mayra recently had an issue where she couldn't get a hold of her Advanced Placement English teacher the day before she both had a big paper due and was scheduled for a major surgery. Lilla said Mayra eventually tracked down her teacher, got details about the assignment, wrote the paper and turned it in that day.
"She had the best excuse in the world not to get a paper done on time," Lilla said. "That's Mayra. She's got grit."
The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday at 2007 Civic Center Way in Round Lake Beach. Tickets to the ceremony, which include dinner, are $30 and available at rlaexchange.org.